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Tashika Da Souza.
Tashika Da Souza.

A 23-year-old mother of four was on Monday jailed for one year, after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm — burning her 6-year-old son three times with an iron.

The woman, Tashika Da Souza of Lower Questelles, told Magistrate Rechanne Browne-Matthias that she did not know that the iron was hot when she pressed it against her son’s left hand and abdomen.

Chief Prosecutor Adolphus Delphelce described the act as “wicked, backward and barbaric”.

The court heard that Da Souza’s son defecated on himself after she had readied him for school on Thursday.

She then burnt him with the iron.

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When asked what she had to say for herself, Da Souza told the court she was sorry for what transpired, but she did not know the iron was still hot, since she had plugged it out a while before the incident.

Da Souza is said to have attempted to hide the incident, but it was reported anonymously to the Questelles Police Station, triggering her arrest and subsequent charge.

13 replies on “Woman jailed for burning 6-year-old son with iron”

  1. Too many children abuse cases are swept under the carpet in SVG. Finally a strong message is sent out. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now, I hope and is praying to see the day when people who involve in sexual acts with under aged children, similar punishment be meted out.

  2. albert edwaards says:

    what happens after the 1 year sentenced is served ,what becomes of the child ,an alternative form of sentencing should have been used,to me the sentence is harsh and oppressive,and no useful purpose is served here,i have looked at similar offences in different jurisdictions,the appeal court frowns on such sentences and instituted community service.

  3. Alwayn Leacock says:

    Harsh punishment who looks after the other kids when she is in jail perhaps a community service order would have sufficed and she needs parenting skills do we have any such thing available in SVG

  4. Another form of punishment should have been used. My mother would have done jail time many times if these child abuse people have their way. I still have respect and love for her, because she wasn’t literate and used whatever means necessary to discipline her children.
    The punishment is harsh and the judge didn’t consider what will happen to the family while she’s in jail and after.
    I agree there should have been a different form of punishment. However this child will be a problem for his mother and society moving forward. The mother was angry and frustrated, not wicked and barbaric. I don’t know where backward fits into this scenario, because the judge can also be called backward with her thinking. What he did after his mother had washed and iron his clothes is deplorable, but the judge didn’t consider that part of the story.. Later it’s the police who’d put a bullet in him when he gets out of line. I wonder which would be more barbaric, the iron or the bullet?

  5. Henry Jackson says:

    I’m pretty surprised at some of the comments on the harshness of the sentence.She lucky she get 1 yr.Any way there is no excuse you don’t put an iron on a child body then pretend you never know the iron hot.That is cruel, she needs help and shouldn’t bother have anymore children if that’s your idea of punishment.

  6. Carlos Walcott says:

    Agreed 100% with Anita. Child abuse was and is rampant in SVG. It was always taken lightly, as though one’s child is theirs to abuse. It’s time a message was sent that this is not the case. A parent’s primary duty is for the protection of her child. Justice is served.

  7. It is not the perpetrator that is “wicked, backward and barbaric” it is the magistrate. One cannot condone such action, but the sentence (1year) is too drastic. A better punishment might have been temporary removal of the child from her care, and getting her into a program; maybe anger management or something of the sought, that will help her to become a better parent… and after completion and rehabilitation, they can be reunited. Did the court take into account her other children; was there a history of abuse? If there is no appeal and she end up serving time, they are all losers in the long run. What a shame!

    1. Wow!
      I see jealousy comes in many forms. Maybe you think that you should have been a magistrate.

  8. Watching Hard says:

    This is where Social Services must get into the picture. This woman is not fit to parent and the child should be taken from her and put into foster care with another family member or someone who cares enough about the child. As long as the child stays with this obviously mentally unstable woman his physical and psychological well being is in danger.

    And we wonder why kids seem to have no direction these days. This incident is Exhibit A for the reason for criminal behaviour in later life.

    Its time we stop feeling all the sympathy for insensitive parents and start feeling, at least a little, for the kids.

  9. Vincy Person says:

    Seemingly, only the poor and the not so well-connected are brought before the courts in SVG. A crime is a crime, which is still a crime! The punishment must fit the crime. Justice is blind and there must be the perception, with regards to crime and punishment, that fairness still abound.

    I am tired of the self-righteousness originating from these comments. Please contemplate this – Tashika Da Souza is in charge of a $600,000 account, $50 goes missing and there is proof that she withdraws said $50 to feed her kids. Would she be allowed to leave the country?

    Do you see where I am going?

    Note to Vincentians (Lucian and Grenadian) ladies. Please do not use any sort of corporal punishment whilst disciplining your kids. However, if you are well connected and in charge of a government account, please free to withdraw money at your convenience and live large!!!

  10. Ok so she was jailed for abuse but she has 3 other children so what will be the outcome of the children. And what psychological impact will this have on them. I understand she was wrong i as a mother will never say she should have done it but the judge went to school and has sense. Is is a 23-year-old mother of 4 that alone should say something. The judge could have looked at an alternative punishment. And is there any counselling or remedial measures that will be used to help this mother because clearly she needs HELP

  11. All who is saying the judge wicked, please come up with a better punishment for such brutal act on an infant.Because we are so accustome to see child abuse sweep under the carpet they expect the same for ever child abuse situation.I she can take a hot iron to beat a 6 year old child imagin if it was a loaded gun she had put her hands on because it seems as if anything here hands touch the children getting it.

  12. fabian jones says:

    this lady is crazy to do some thing like this why a mother will do some thing like this keep her in jail for 5 years because she will kill the child next.

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